Tuesday, November 6, 2007

TSoT: Bibliography "J"

I have realised that, if I hyperlink inline references (e.g. Wilson, 1979, p.1) to the main Bibliography page of my book outline,

[Above: "Crucifixion," by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), Wikipedia. The first representation of the crucifixion of Christ (or indeed any crucifixion) with the nails through the wrist, as in the Shroud, and presumably influenced by it. See `tagline' quote below]

"The Shroud of Turin: Burial Sheet of Jesus?," then if that page became too large and I needed to create sub-pages under it, then I would have to go back and change each in-line reference.

So I am going to create a Bibliography page for the first letter of each authors' surname, as required. Here is the first such Bibliography sub-page for authors' surnames beginning with "J".


THE SHROUD OF TURIN: BURIAL SHEET OF JESUS?
© Stephen E. Jones


CONTENTS

BIBLIOGRAPHY "J"

Jennings, P., ed., 1978, "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK.

PS: In order to `kill two birds with one stone' on what would otherwise be a boring series of Bibliography posts, I will add interesting `tagline' quotes at the end of them, by author(s) listed. In this case, there is only one book and all the quotes (bolded emphases mine) are from one chapter in it, by a "Professor Philip M. J. McNair, Serena Professor of Italian, Birmingham University" (p.9).

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blog: CreationEvolutionDesign


"This length of ivory-coloured cloth measures 14 feet 3 inches by 3 feet 7 inches, or 4.36 metres by 1.10 metre. ... . From the purely textile angle it can be described as a three-to-one herring-bone twill, the material being linen with a small admixture of cotton (as the Belgian Professor Gilbert Raes reported in 1976 after his microscopic examination of carefully selected and extracted threads of it in his textile laboratory at Ghent University). The presence of cotton fibres in the weave is considered by experts to be conclusive in ruling out a European provenance for the fabric of the Shroud, since cotton was not grown or used in Europe in any possible epoch of the manufacture of this cloth. But it is entirely consonant with a Palestinian provenance, as the fibres are of the Gossypium Herbaceum variety which is cultivated in the Middle East. The total absence of wool in the Shroud's composition is instructive to anyone versed in the Mosaic Law with its prohibition of textile mixture, for Leviticus 19.19 commands: `Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.' The presence of even one wool fibre would have excluded this cloth from ever having been a Jewish burial shroud." (McNair, P., "The Shroud and History: fantasy, fake or fact?," in Jennings, P., ed., "Face to Face with the Turin Shroud," Mayhew-McCrimmon: Great Wakering UK, 1978, pp.21-22).

"There are marks on the Turin Shroud. Some (the most obvious) are accidental and easily explained. Other are remedial and present no problem. But the central markings seem to be intentional and baffle all natural explanation. The accidental marks are burns and singes caused by molten silver in a fire which broke out in the Sainte-Chapelle at Chamb√©ry on the night of 3-4, December 1532. The remedial marks are triangular linen patches applied to the worst of these burns by the Poor Clares of Sainte-Claire-en-Ville in April 1534. But the marks down the centre of the Shroud's length are mysterious in the extreme. Quite what they are, or how they were caused, no one can honestly say, least of all the scientists who have examined therm. They are not marks caused by paint or any pigment. They have not penetrated the linen fibres, as paint would have done, nor have they insinuated themselves between the fibres, nor do they appear on the back of the cloth. These marks have shape and figure. At first sight they might suggest two ghostly brass-rubbings of some medieval knight bereft of armour. On closer inspection they are seen faintly but perceptibly to represent the naked body - both back and front - of a mature bearded male with long hair who would have stood about 5 feet 11 inches [178 cms] tall and weighed in the region of 12½ stone, or 175 pounds [79.5 kgs]. It appears that he has been laid supine on one half of the cloth, while the other half has been doubled back to cover him from face to feet, so that the two life-size images lie head to head down the centre of the Shroud." (McNair, 1978, pp.22-23).

"This Shroud-Man has seemingly suffered several sorts of physical violence. Apart from the abrasions, bruises and swellings which minute investigation reveals, there are apparent traces of various and distinct blood-flows: from the head, wrist, feet, and (most marked) from the side - from what is evidently an incision between the fifth and sixth rib. His back, from the shoulders down to the ankles, is liberally spattered with more than a hundred dumbbell shaped scores where the skin has apparently been broken by flagellation, consonant with the application of a leaded whip, such as the Roman flagrum." (McNair, 1978, pp.22-23).

"Painstaking scientific examination by ... forensic experts ... detected no trace of any natural or artificial matter which might have been used to simulate blood, such as Hollywood employs in filming a Western. Art has not improved on Nature. Here again there is no pigment, no seepage, no penetration of the linen fibres, and this established fact is one of the most baffling features of the Shroud. Yet the representation of the various bloodflows on the cloth is, from the forensic and physiological points of view, of a quite unusual degree of verisimilitude." (McNair, 1978, pp.22-23).

"Now it seems to me otiose, if not ridiculous, to spend time arguing ... about the identity of the man represented on the Turin Shroud. Whether it is genuine or a fake, the representation is obviously of Jesus Christ. If the figure is a fake, then the craftsman who faked it has represented the body of a man who has been mocked, scourged, executed and pierced in the manner described in the four Gospels - with one significant variant, which we shall discuss later. He has manifestly intended to portray the Jesus of Nazareth who `suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried', and has made an extraordinarily accurate job of it down to the least detail. If, on the other hand, the figure is authentic, it can only be Jesus for three good reasons: first, because it is most unlikely that the shrouds of any other crucified men - mainly slaves, peasants and crooks - would either have been of this quality or have been considered worth preserving; secondly, because of the thousands of victims of crucifixion which history records, only one is known to have suffered both wounds to the head (consonant with a spiky cap being pressed down upon the cranium) and the side (compatible with a deep jab from a Roman lance) as we see represented on the Shroud; and thirdly, because this man although demonstrably crucified - has not suffered the crurifragium, or breaking of the leg-bones with a heavy mallet, which was an almost invariable concomitant of crucifixion. The Shroud-Man is Jesus Christ or nobody." (McNair, 1978, pp.23-24).

"We are left with no viable alternative: if the Shroud-Man is not the self-signature of Christ, then it must be the work of human ingenuity, with either good or evil intent. And yet, strangely enough, the more we examine this third hypothesis - which at first sight seems so much more rational than the direct intervention of God or Devil - the more it proves the most difficult of them all to swallow. Let us spare a thought at this point for the anonymous artist of genius: who was he? What craftsman during the reign of the first two Valois Kings [1328-1364] had the requisite skills to create so exact a representation of the naked human body? Girard d'Orleans? Jean Coste? Jean Petit called Jean de Troyes? What we know of their work would hardly suggest that any of these leading painters at the court of King John II conceived and executed the portrait of Jesus on the Turin Shroud." (McNair, 1978, pp.33-34).

"In the past, learned historians both clerical and lay have been satisfied that this portrait was subtili modo depicta and have championed the fake hypothesis. But what is so special about this relic that, six centuries after Bishop Henri de Poitiers unmasked it for a fraud, both Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Muslims, rationalists, nothingarians, scientists and even Oxbridge dons are busy discussing it this year, and most of them (as far as I can tell) are admitting that there is more in it than meets the eye? If I had to answer in one word, I should choose the Italian polysyllable which is in the mouth of so many sindonologists today: i n f a l s i f i c a b i l e. The more we investigate this fabulous sheet and the ghostly image it bears, the more we doubt whether any fourteenth-century artist could possibly have faked it. The Shroud-Man appears to be intrinsically unfakeable." (McNair, 1978, p.34. Italics original).

"Let us enumerate some of the difficulties which beset the fake hypothesis. First, as we have seen, the admixture of cotton with the linen of the Shroud seems to preclude a European provenance for its fabric, and Dr Max Frei has found that some of the pollen clinging to it came from Asia Minor and the Middle East. But this in itself is not an insuperable difficulty, because a dedicated deceiver might have used a length of cloth brought back by some crusader, or could conceivably have sought the material for his hoax in Palestine himself - although such a quest would appear to be a trifle over-sophisticated for his day and age. Secondly, and much more problematically, how on earth did the fourteenth-century faker project the image of the Shroud-Man on to the cloth? Monsieur le Truqueur painted it on, stated Bishop Pierre d'Arcis in his memorandum of 1389, and that sounds commonsensical enough until we remember that there are no brushstrokes visible on the Shroud, and no vestige of paint or any other known pigment. Another suggestion (by Dr Joseph Blinzler) is that the hoaxer made a life-size statue of a man and pressed it between the upper and nether halves of the folded linen sheet. But this proposed solution bristles with every sort of difficulty. In the first place, is there any record or tradition of sculpture to this degree of stark anatomical realism in mid-fourteenth-century France? (The first Lirey expositions of the Shroud occurred one generation before the birth of Brunelleschi and Donatello in Florence.) In the second place, the mere act of pressing alone, without pigment applied to the statue, would not have left any image on the cloth; and, in the third place, even if it had, it would have produced an image not perfect in proportion but distorted by physical contact, as anyone can confirm by the simple experiment of blacking his face with burnt cork and then pressing his handkerchief all over it. The basic fact remains: we just do not know by what natural means such an image could have been impressed upon the Shroud. Thirdly, we have to account for the mysterious business of the photographic-type negative. We have already seen that it cannot be explained by `reversal' because there is no paint on the Shroud. Yet there must be some natural explanation if the relic is a man-made fake. It would be an unusually clairvoyant and altruistic scoundrel who would perpetrate a hoax so subtle that none of his own generation, nor his children, nor children's children down to the tenth generation could appreciate it with their naked eyes, but which depended for its full impact and effect on the invention of photography five hundred years later." (McNair, 1978, pp.34-35).

"But perhaps the most staggering clue to the genius of this hypothetical artist is that he has depicted Jesus with the nail-wound in his wrist. In France, Italy, Spain and elsewhere I have studied hundreds of paintings, sculptures and carvings of Christ's crucifixion and deposition from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, and not one of them shows the nail-wound anywhere but in the palm of his hand. It is not until we come to Van Dyck in the seventeenth century that we find the first representation of Christ with the nail-wound through the wrist. His painting hangs in the Palazzo Reale in Genoa, a city in which he lived for some time, and it is possible that he may have been influenced in this detail by seeing the Shroud in passing through Turin. Why did our fourteenth-century faker, against all the cultural conditioning of his times, place the nailwound not in the palm but in the wrist? Anatomy and archaeology have since proved that he was perfectly correct. Dr Pierre Barbet, chief surgeon at the Paris hospital of St Joseph in the 1930s, conducted some revealing if macabre experiments with corpses and amputated limbs at that time. He established the fact that the weight of a human body would cause the nail to tear the flesh right up between the fingers if driven through the palm, because no bone would bar its way; whereas wrist-nailing ensured that the body stayed pinned to the patibulum of the cross when it was hoisted on to the stipes, which was already impaled in the ground at the place of execution. It is surely no dishonour to medieval artists that they did not know this gruesome detail, for only in recent times have archaeologists, historians and medical men begun to rediscover the horrific techniques employed in crucifixion - once all too well known in the Roman Empire; but mercifully forgotten after Constantine abolished this form of capital punishment in 315 AD. Knowledge of the precise physical pains which Christ suffered had been lost long before any medieval artist began to depict them. The Gospels say his hands were nailed, so painters and sculptors naturally represented the wound in the palm. How then did the fourteenth-century faker, who lived a thousand years after the abolition of crucifixion, know this telling and authentic detail of wrist-nailing? For authentic it was proved to be just over ten years ago, when the first known remains of a victim of crucifixion came to light in the outskirts of Jerusalem - a man in his mid-twenties called Jehohanan. His heelbones were transfixed by a single nail and he had suffered the usual crurifragium. Although the nails were missing from his wrists, they had left on the radial bone their telltale marks of scratching and levigation. And now for the most amazing detail of them all, which makes the fake hypothesis virtually incredible: if a nail pierces the wrist between radius and ulna, it touches the median nerve, which automatically causes the thumb to flex across the palm, so that it is invisible to anyone looking at the back of the hand. On the Turin Shroud we see the back of both the hands of Jesus Christ, but there is no sign of either thumb." (McNair, 1978, pp.35-36).

"Authenticity is stamped all over this enigmatic relic, which just goes on springing surprise after surprise at its mysterious perfection from year to year. The impressive matching of the scourge-marks with the pattern of two soldiers administering the flogging, one either side, one taller than the other: the angle of the bloodflows on the forearm, mathematically exact for crucifixion: the dimensions of the side-wound, and its emission of both blood and water: the stupendous witness of the wounds (in total verisimilitude) caused by the spiky cap: all these features of the Shroud-Man and many more compel us to admit the harmonious integrity of this unfakeable image. But it is above all the face which rivets our responsive gaze - `an appearance so marred beyond human semblance, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief' (Isaiah 52.14, 53.3) - yet a face of tranquil dignity, of royal authority, of divine beauty - a countenance in a million million: unique. If the Shroud-Man looked like this in death, how did he appear in life? Toi, qui-es-tu? - asked Paul Claudel, brought face to face with the Turin Shroud and its haunting image. The answer is unavoidable: it is Jesus Christ our Lord. In the astonished words of the centurion who saw him die: `Truly this man was the Son of God!' (Mark 15.39.)" (McNair, 1978, pp.36-37).

"The Shroud is such a remarkable thing that, in the last analysis, there can be only two honest opinions about it. The first (which occurs most readily to the Protestant and rationalist in me) is that it is a piece of fourteenth-century representational art, and therefore probably a fake - an unusual fake, admittedly, well-intentioned possibly, ingenious certainly, but not* the shroud in which the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped; or, if indeed the length of linen was that shroud, then the image on it has been added later by human hand as a pious fraud, by some process which even modern scientists do not understand. And of course if the image is not authentic, then the veneration of it comes perilously close to breaking the First and Second Commandments The alternative opinion is almost too shattering to the equanimity of most of us to entertain for more than a moment or two. It is that in the Turin Shroud we have not only the linen cloth in which the body of the Lord Jesus was wrapped, but also a representation of that body portrayed by other than human hands, by some supernatural process which confounds all explanation. Either way the thing is a marvel - of illusion if it is a fake, or of reality if it is not. But it is my conviction that in this most mysterious thing - embarrassing in its uniqueness, exciting in its challenge - we face the same reality that confronts us in the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ. In both those central miracles of world history was manifested the splendour of God: could it be that the radiant incandescence of that almighty act of love and power when the Son of God `was raised by the glory of the Father' has scorched his image and likeness on the Shroud, a sign for our scientific century which demands scientific proof?" (McNair, 1978, p.39).

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